LeTourneau University Trustee Emeritus Calvin Eugene Howe, 72, of Franklin, Tenn., died February 13, 2009. Howe was an executive in the hospitality industry, having served several leadership roles including as vice chairman on the Board of Directors of Best Western International.
“LeTourneau University has lost a true and loyal ministry partner as well as a longtime friend,” said LeTourneau University President Dale A. Lunsford. “We will miss his faithful encouragement.” The flags at LETU will fly at half staff through the week. The university bells will toll in Howe's honor at noon Tuesday at the carillon in the university mall.
Born January 17, 1937, Calvin Howe was raised on a farm in Lancaster County, Penn., as the second son in a family of nine children. In 1956, his family sold the farm and went into the hospitality industry when it took over operation of a motel in Morgantown, Penn.
Howe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. in 1960. In the spring of 1961, Howe married Lois K. Evans in Pleasantville, N.J., and they raised four children.
Howe served six years of active service in the New Jersey National Guard and was honorably discharged from active reserve in 1968. Howe worked in the banking industry from 1960 to 1967, when his return to the hospitality industry began.
He directed approximately 200 Best Western properties in the Midwest and assisted in the administration for the total Best Western chain of 2,800 properties worldwide.
Howe has donated more than $2.5 million to LETU over the past four decades, and about two dozen current LETU students live in the residence facility known as “Howe House,” named in his honor. Besides his personal giving, he led other foundations, such as the M.E. Foundation and the Riverside Foundation Charitable Trust to give to several LETU causes. Howe served 15 years on the LETU Board of Trustees from 1984-1999 and was elected as trustee emeritus in May 2000.
Howe had strong beliefs about LETU’s Board of Trustees remaining true to the university’s mission. He was instrumental in attracting people to LeTourneau University, including Wayne Trull, who currently serves as the chair of the LETU Board of Trustees. Howe introduced Trull to LETU in the late 1980s.
“Calvin Howe was a dear friend and mentor to me,” Trull said. “Calvin’s smile would light up the room and his visionary perspective on life always was a joy to me. We all will miss him. Calvin is now in the arms of our Heavenly Father and finally home.”
Howe traveled the world doing mission work and served on a variety of ministry boards, from evaluating projects for World Vision and African Christian Hospitals in West Africa to traveling to Russia with Best Western as a part of World Vision’s Children of Chernobyl project. He traveled to India, Uganda, Nigeria, Mauritania, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, and Ghana doing a variety of mission work for Christ.
Besides serving on the Board of Trustees at LeTourneau University, Howe was affiliated with Prison Fellowship Ministries and a member of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tenn., where funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, with his brother, Curt Howe, officiating. Family will serve as pallbearers. Visitation will be two hours prior to services in the church.
Howe is survived by his wife, Lois Evans Howe; daughters and sons-in-law, Fawn and Kevan Ker; Faith and Will Glade; and Ferne and Brandon Keown; and a son and daughter-in-law, Alex and Kari Aziamov. Other survivors include his brothers and sisters-in-law: Conrad Howe, Carroll and Karleen Howe and Curtis and Patricia Howe; sisters and brothers-in-law: Miriam and Coulson Mucher, Martha and Ray Slagle and Mary Ann Reed; and nine grandchildren.